You know what I hate?
How many damn people in my circle of internet are runners.
Because I constantly have to see photos of them finishing a 5K or a half-marathon or, yes, Virginia, even a full marathon. And every time I see those photos on Facebook, I click “Like” and maybe leave a comment like CONGRATS!! or Go you!!!
Secretly inside, I’m thinking, how do you do it? Running is boring! When do you have time? How do you have the energy? Wait… does it mean you get to eat a big bowl of pasta?
Once my brain reached the pasta, I realized that maybe all these people are on to something.
Every few years, I’ll get the gumption to take up running. I’ll set out determined to sculpt my body into a long, lean form. The body I was always meant to have. The body that’s been waiting to get out.
And then it will be too cold or too hot. Or I’m a little under the weather. Or I didn’t get much sleep last night. Or I’m just too out of shape. How does that even make any sense as an excuse?
But THIS YEAR will be different. Not because I am 10 pounds overweight. Not because I have a muffin top that bakers would be proud of. And not because I get winded playing a video dance game with my 4 year old (he-of-endless-energy-except-when-we’re-out-shopping-and-then-his-feet-suddenly-hurt-and-he-can’t-walk).
It’s different because I HAVE SHOES.
It’s not that I didn’t have shoes before. I’ve had plenty of running shoes. I usually alternate between what’s on sale at the Reebok Factory Outlet and what’s on sale at the Nike Factory Outlet. And my feet never really feel that good.
Recently, I tried to do a little run/jog/walk sort of move and found that my shins hurt pretty quickly. I thought maybe I was just too old. I might be but I think that’s the cop out answer.
So all these running people on the internet gave me a few sound pieces of advice. Stretch. Warm up. And buy good shoes.
Apparently, good shoes means I may need to expand beyond the factory outlets. Then, quite a few people suggested I get “fitted” at a running store. To which I replied, What’s a running store?
A running store is a store for runners, run by people who actually have a lot of knowledge about running. So I looked one up and found Raleigh Running Outfitters.
I sheepishly walked in and decided to just lay it all out in the open.
“Hi. I’m one of those people that comes in right after New Year’s because I swear I’m going to be a runner but I’m really out of shape and have absolutely no clue.”
I expected full-on running snobbery. I thought I would be casually pointed in the direction of the shoes and then snickered at. Instead, the guy, whose name I didn’t catch, watched me walk barefoot. Asked me about my running goals (I’d be thrilled if I could ever run a 5K) and then showed me what I should be looking at.
There’s neutrality (for long distance runners who need more flexibility) and stability (for people like me who hope to be able to run around the block). See that gray core there? That’s going to add stability to my run. And it will also help my pronating feet (which means they tend to roll in when I walk).
And, did you know that you are supposed to get running shoes half to a full size bigger than your normal shoes? It allows for swelling. Nobody ever told me that.
Then he brought out a few pairs of the same shoes for size. Turns out my normal size 7 foot fits adequately into a size 7 1/2 for a running shoe. Once he got the size situated, he brought out every style he had. We weren’t looking at how pretty they were (well, I was), we were looking at how they fit.
I really wanted to like the first pair I tried on. They were purple. That’s all I remember. But right away, I said, I feel them pushing up on my arch a bit. Is that okay?
Nope. If you buy a shoe that doesn’t feel right, chances are you’ll never “get used to it.” He told me it should feel like a slipper. And after all the try-ons, there was no question about the most comfortable. It was the New Balance W860SB2, whatever that means.
I’ve got pretty new shoes and untouched soles. I’m hoping to post a picture in a few months showing you my worn out soles. My motivation? After about 350 miles of running, I’ll need new shoes.